Today’s Eos marks a historic pivot point in the publication’s history: After 35 years as a weekly newspaper, this is the last tabloid issue.
With the launch of Eos.org on 9 December, Eos moves into an exciting new era. We are now able to rapidly present news, features, opinions, and Research Spotlights so you can keep abreast of what’s happening in Earth and space sciences as well as affiliated fields. Moreover, Eos is freely available to all: No AGU membership or login is required. We expect that our universe of readers will become more international and will expand to include allied disciplines.
“During my tenure with AGU, we have seen transformative changes in how this nearly 100-year-old organization works to meet the needs of its members, the broader Earth and space science community, and the public,” said AGU president Carol Finn. “Each change was made to make our vision—a community of scientists collaboratively advancing and communicating science and its power to ensure a sustainable future—a reality. The launch of Eos.org certainly falls into that category.”
A Strong and Rich History
The publication that evolved into Eos, called Transactions, American Geophysical Union, began soon after AGU formed as a way to distribute information about the Union’s annual meetings and discipline-specific sections to AGU members. Launched in 1920, it was published sporadically until 1959, when it became a quarterly. In 1969, it was produced monthly and added Eos to its name. Starting 2 January 1979, the publication became a weekly newspaper.
Fred Spilhaus, former AGU executive director and long-time Eos editor in chief, recalls, “First and most important was the role Eos played in helping to tie together all of the disciplines engaged in the study of Earth and its space environment.” Eos became a weekly under the direction of Spilhaus and then director of publications Judy Holoviak.
“Each month and then each week,” Spilhaus said, “all members could read short items that informed them about what was happening in other fields and in cross-discipline work.” He added, “Over time the connections between the disciplines strengthened and grew, as did AGU’s and Eos’s place in fostering interdisciplinary science.”
Spilhaus underscored Eos’s role in AGU membership growth. “I recall an Eos cover image of AGU membership growth over time. The graph showed modest increase until a sudden and dramatic change in slope that coincided with the transition of Eos to a weekly newspaper.”
John Geissman, a former editor, said, “It was, and continues to be—now in a very different form of delivery—part of my weekly life in geoscience as a source on so very many issues.”
Over the years, readers consistently relied on Eos for the classifieds. “I got my job through Eos” is a common refrain. Former editor Keith Alverson recalled, “Early in my career—as a grad student and postdoc—Eos was most useful for the job advertisements. Later, I enjoyed its blend of news-oriented science reporting, dissemination of workshop topics and results beyond the physical participants.”
Quality Continues With Eos.org
Finn expressed excitement about the transition from print-centric to the digital-first Eos. “While the site may be new, as with all AGU initiatives, the principles and reputation on which it’s built make for a strong foundation. Eos’s efforts to keep Earth and space scientists informed about the latest developments in our community have always been admirable, and the new site will provide for a whole new level of reach and engagement.”
“Not only do I think our readers are going to enjoy the site—after all, it’s pretty snazzy!—I think they will benefit immeasurably from the knowledge it shares and the relationships and collaborations it helps to build,” she said.
What’s New with Eos.org
You’ll see faster posting of features, news, and research spotlights; the ability to print, share, and comment at the click of a button; incorporation of AGU’s Blogosphere and “Postcards from the Field” Tumblr stream; more images; and daily news and updates—all while maintaining the accuracy and clarity that you repeatedly told us you value.
Observant readers will notice some nomenclature changes: “Brief Reports” are now called “Project Updates” and “Forum” is now “Opinion.” “Letters to the Editor” and “Comments and Replies” will be handled as part of the online commenting. “Geophysicists” changed to “Milestones” this past summer.
We will continue print as a twice-monthly four-color magazine, dated the 1st and 15th of every month, for AGU members. The magazine will be mailed to members in the United States—unless you opt out—and to members outside the United States upon request to [email protected] As a part of AGU’s commitment to sustainability, it will be printed using Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper and soy ink.
The magazine will also be available to all on Eos.org as a PDF. Watch for our first issue in your mailbox after 15 January 2015.
I urge you to turn to Eos.org often. And to contribute. Refer to our guide for authors before submitting your article. We also want feedback, so tell us what you think. Send your comments to [email protected]
—Barbara T. Richman, Editor in Chief, Eos; [email protected]
Citation: Richman, B. (2014), The dawn of a new Eos, Eos Trans. AGU, 95(51), 485, doi:10.1002/2014EO510001.